NeuGeneration 2017

Speakers Series

Past Presenters from NeuGeneration 2017 Conference



Dr. Charles Bourque

Thirst for knowledge and knowledge of thirst

There is increasing pressure for scientists to perform “translational” work that will produce short term returns such as improved health services or products with commercial potential. While such work is valuable, Bourque feels that government should increase support for “fundamental” research to create new knowledge and optimize training of future scientists. The talk will illustrate the importance of such work using the author’s own studies on how the brain regulates Thirst.

Professor, Department of Neurology-Neurosurgery, McGill University Centre for Research in Neuroscience Montreal General Hospital. 

Bourque obtained a Certificate in Biophysics from the Marine Biological Laboratory (Woods Hole, MA) and a Ph.D. in Physiology from McGill University (Montreal). Following post-doctoral training in Pharmacology at University College London (UK) he was recruited to McGill University’s Centre for Research in Neuroscience where his group uses neurophysiology, imaging and optogenetics to study neural circuits that mediate body fluid balance. Dr. Bourque holds a James McGill Chair and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

Dr. Janet Menard

Stress during early adolescence promotes an anxious phenotype in adulthood


"I obtained my PhD at the University of Alberta. My postdoctoral studies were done at the Douglas Hospital Research Institute (McGill University). I’ve been on faculty at Queen’s since 2002. My research centers on the neurobiology of anxiety. Anxiety is highly adaptive in that it serves to protect us from harm in threatening situations. However, when anxiety is extreme or when it is inappropriate to the situation, it is no longer adaptive. My research is concerned with the neural circuits responsible for mediating anxiety as a useful adaptation, as well as with how altered brain function might promote maladaptive anxiety. We use animal models of anxiety (rats being our animal of choice) to study how anxiety is regulated in the brain (e.g., what brain structures, neurochemicals and receptor types are involved?). We also explore how these neural systems and the defensive behaviours they regulate are modified by prior experience (e.g., stress in early life). Our experimental approach involves stress paradigms, behavioural testing, intra- cerebral and peripheral drug administration and immunohistochemistry."

Stress in early development (including adolescence) is associated with a higher risk for developing psychopathologies, such as anxiety and depression. I will discuss how we can investigate such processes by modeling them in laboratory rats.

Dr. Hans C. Dringenberg

Brain plasticity and memory

Hans Dringenberg Headshot.jpg

"How can a brain store and maintain memories? In this talk, I will review evidence that changes in connectivity among neurons provide a cellular mechanism to store information in neural circuits. Subsequently, I will present data to identify conditions that alter the ability of neurons to store and maintain memories, focusing on the role of emotions and sleep (and related neurochemicals) in influencing the persistence of memories."

Hans C. Dringenberg is Professor in the Department of Psychology and the Centre for Neuroscience Studies at Queen’s University. Hans became interested in behavioral neuroscience after taking a course on “Brain and Behavior” at the University of Lethbridge. He received his M.Sc. and Ph.D. (1996) in Neuroscience from University of Western Ontario and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Duesseldorf, Germany. In 1998, Hans took up his current position at Queen’s University. His research focuses on synaptic plasticity of the neocortex and hippocampus, and the relation of plasticity to memory storage. Recently, his lab has also started to investigate the role of sleep in the consolidation of memories using EEG and behavioral techniques.

Dr. Stephen Scott

Robotics to study brain function and dysfunction

"I began my career developing a new experimental paradigm based on robotic technology to quantify upper limb function. I will describe how we have use this technology to explore our ability to generate rapid and sophisticated motor corrections that underlie our ability to move and interact in the world. I will also describe how we use robotic technology to quantify sensory, motor and cognitive impairments associated with a range of neurological disorders/injuries."

Dr. Stephen Scott holds the GSK-CIHR Chair in Neuroscience and is Professor in the Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences at Queen’s University. He has formal training in engineering and physiology, and uses this knowledge to explore voluntary motor control, how the brain controls our ability to move and interact in the environment. A key to his research program is the development of robotic technology, called KINARM, that measures and modifies upper limb motor function. He has started a new line of research exploring the use of robotics as a next-generation technology for neurological assessment. He is co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of BKIN Technologies, which commercializes the KINARM robotic technology for basic and clinical research.

Dr. Nandini Deshpande

The relationship between cardiovascular responses and vestibularly mediated balance control following long-duration spaceflight

Dr. Deshpande’s research is primarily in the areas of sensory functions, integration of sensory information for postural control and sensorimotor and psychological factors that may negatively impact our mobility as we age. Currently she is an Associate Professor in the School of Rehabilitation Therapy, Faculty of Health Sciences and supervises student’s research at the masters and PhD levels. She also teaches Neuromotor Control and Geriatrics in the Physical Therapy program and Statistics to doctoral students in the Aging and Health Program. She completed her doctoral studies from the University of Waterloo following which she received the post-doctoral fellowship from the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Aging at Baltimore, USA. Dr. Deshpande has been a Visiting Scholar at the University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, USA, Guest Researcher at the National Institute on Aging, Baltimore, USA and Research Scholar at the Johnson Space Center, NASA, Houston, USA. She has received research funding from CIHR, Bickel Foundation and Queen’s internal grants. Dr. Deshpande enjoys travelling, particularly, to destinations with rich history.

Ms. Amanda Maracle

A grad student's guide to life

Ms. Maracle is currently completing her Ph.D. in Brain, Behavior, and Cognitive Sciences in the Department of Psychology at Queen’s University. She studies behavioral and neurological changes associated with the development of compulsive substance intake as it relates to addiction. In addition to her research, she has taught several undergraduate courses for the department of Psychology, and has collaborated on research projects at Kingston General Hospital. She also volunteers her time as an executive committee member for the Kingston Regional Heritage Fair, and is involved with the newly developed PhD-Community Initiative currently being piloted by the School of Graduate Studies at Queens

Dr. Ken Rose

You too can read and understand a hot paper in Nature: an example based on a study that successfully reanimated a paralyzed primate


Professor Ken Rose is an expert in the intricate area/field of neural plasticity following damage to the nervous system. With a discovery-based method of lecturing, Dr. Rose uses current scientific papers as a primary resource when teaching physiology and neuroscience at Queen’s University.